Next course delivery: January to April 2024
This course is now available to individuals residing outside of Canada. Please contact Program Coordinator, Ann Greenwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-721-8627 for more information.
This course provides an introduction to methods in spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection. The focus is on application rather than theory: this is not a course in spatial statistics.
The course is structured sequentially to move from spatial exploration of health data, to quantifying spatial patterns and clusters, to spatial exposure assessment and, finally, to methods for assessing risk.
Broadly, the spatial epidemiology part of the course focuses on:
- assessing exposures through the use of a geographical information system (GIS)
- conducting small area health studies (ecological models)
- incorporating spatial parameters into models for individual health analyses.
The outbreak detection part of the course focuses on visualization of spatial data, disease surveillance and the use of spatial scan statistics in cluster detection.
- Recognize when—and why—a spatial approach is required and the assumptions, strengths, limitations, and interpretations of different spatial methods used in health research.
- Identify geospatial technologies and methods for epidemiology and cluster detection.
- Choose an appropriate study design to address a specific spatial epidemiological question.
- Visualize patterns of health and disease in place and time.
- Analyze clusters and diffusion of disease to identify outbreaks.
- Conduct small area and individual spatial epidemiology studies.
- Critically interpret spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection methods.
- Apply spatial epidemiology and outbreak detection methods to various population health research questions.
- Admission to the PSC in Population Health Data Analysis or permission of the Faculty Advisor or Instructor.
- Epidemiological Statistics (PHDA02) and Population Health and Geographic Information Systems (PHDA03) or proven proficiency in both areas. Proven proficiency includes: Working knowledge of basic statistical concepts (how to interpret P values, null hypothesis, and confidence intervals).
- Some experience with regression modelling and basic programming using statistical software (e.g., DATA with SAS; regress/logit with Stata, etc.).
- Some experience working with ArcGIS and MS Excel.
Note: If you are looking to enhance your required pre-requisite skills and knowledge prior to registration, contact us about accessible and free online courses and resources.
Instructor: Joey Syer
Joseph (Joey) Syer is a senior Geomatics Specialist at Hemmera, an Ausenco Company. Joey has over 10 years of experience in GIS and spatial analysis. He holds a BGIS from BCIT, is a registered GISP and a graduate of the PHDA program. To expand on these skills Joey is also studying epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Much of his time is split between the development of novel data analysis & data collection systems and exploring the uses of GIS technology in epidemiology & environmental science. Joey’s interests are in macro geographic processes, spatial epidemiology, ecology and disease transmission (One Health), and python programming.
This program has been developed by Population Data BC in partnership with the Division of Continuing Studies, University of Victoria.
For further details, visit the Division of Continuing Studies webpage.